Waiver Wire Wonders: Bring It Home
Despite being staunch believers that the fantasy football playoffs should never extend into Week 17, for all four of you still out there reading, we're here for you.
Ironically, despite the annoyance that your stars' availability will be tough to gauge this week due to playoff berths, throwaway games and opportunities to get young guys some game experience, this week's waiver wire is flat-out stocked. There are four running backs alone that all merit consideration for at least a flex play and we probably could have gone deeper. So, best of luck to those folks still battling it out for a title. Don't be afraid to take some risks. There are crafty moves out there for those players not afraid to chance it with everything on the line.
Brandon Jackson (RB, Packers) – Out of nowhere, Brandon Jackson showed up for three touchdowns (two rushing, one receiving), thus crushing some seasons for both Aaron Rodgers and Ryan Grant owners. For anyone left with a Week 17 championship, however, Jackson looks like a sneaky play for a gutsy finish.
Lex Hilliard (RB, Dolphins) – Fresh off Ricky Williams' oddly-timed announcement that 2010 will be his last NFL season -- after finally fighting his way back to prominence and financial stability -- Dolphins' third-stringer Lex Hilliard rushed for 12 yards and a score and caught an impressive nine passes for 74 yards and another score. Hilliard should get some decent touches next week after Sunday's efforts, so deep leagues should consider him for a flex start.
Brandon Gibson (WR, Rams) – Catching passes from Rams quarterback Keith Null, Brandon Gibson has somehow managed to stand out on the otherwise dreadful St Louis offense. This week he caught five passes for 51 yards and a touchdown, but you better be playing in one deep league to mess with the Rams' offense in the championship. Even Steven Jackson managed to ruin some seasons this week.
Donald Brown (RB, Colts) – Well, we now know for sure that the Colts won't be fighting for perfection and hence the big guns will be sitting, but Donald Brown still appears poised to get some touches. Despite talk that he too would ride the pine for playoff prep, given he is coming off an injury, the Colts will likely get him the ball to freshen him up. In the Colts' crushing loss on Sunday, Brown found pay dirt and added 22 yards rushing and another 12 receiving. Keep an eye on this, but he and Mike Hart should both see time.
Arian Foster (RB, Texans) – Foster probably already has a home, but if for some reason he's still floating out there on your wire, snatch him up. Foster got 19 touches on Sunday, which he successfully converted into 97 yards and a touchdown. With Schaub and Johnson playing just lights-out (thanks to both for the championship), defenses have to respect the passing game, thus giving Foster an easier time up front. Houston plays New England next week, so Foster's matchup could be better, but he still makes a good start.
Matt Moore (QB, Panthers) – The pesky replacement quarterback for Carolina, Matt Moore, put an embarrassing damper on the Giants' final home game at the Meadowlands with 171 yards passing and three touchdowns in a 41-9 ass paddling. Carolina faces New Orleans who don't seem to have much left to prove in Week 17 and the defense has allowed big passing games, so Moore makes a compelling gamble for teams starting multiple QBs or suffering from Manning-itis.
Jabar Gaffney (WR, Broncos) – One of the week's most surprising names, Jabar Gaffney, benefited from Kyle Orton's third-quarter rally against a scorching hot Eagles team. The comeback ultimately fell short, but Gaffney caught seven balls for 69 yards, twice for scoring strikes. Unfortunately, lighting will likely not strike as often.
Todd Heap (TE, Ravens) – Todd Heap posted his second most prolific game of the season with two catches for 37 yards, both for touchdowns. Of note, his most prolific came the game prior, which gives him four touchdowns in just two weeks. Baltimore faces the Raiders in Week 17, which generally speaking provides a nice matchup, but for a tight end it doesn't always work that way as check-downs often pay dividends for tight ends against tougher defenses. If you're in a pinch without a big gun, Heap looks like option, but I'm not so sure he warrants benching the guy who got you here.